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Data issues inflated our COVID-19 community level. We’re working with DOH and hospitals to fix it.

Though Pierce County’s COVID-19 community level is low, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved us into its medium level today because of data processing issues.

As the reliable local source of public health data, we are working with our hospital systems and State Department of Health to ensure CDC gets the latest data. We saw similar issues when CDC first unveiled its community tracker and worked quickly to get it corrected.

CDC makes it clear local data is most reliable in situations like this: “For the most complete and up-to-date data for any particular county or state, visit the relevant health department website.”

Our COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates have risen the past few weeks, and we could reach CDC’s medium community level soon. But we are not there yet, and we are far below the January peak of the Omicron wave.

The main discrepancy from CDC data is with hospital admissions. We found duplications in this data and are working with one of our local hospital systems to correct it.

We also know some small discrepancies between CDC’s map and DOH data happen because of lags in the system and the date data is pulled. We count cases on the date a positive test is taken. CDC counts cases on the day a result is reported. Late reporting can inflate numbers.

We’ve monitored COVID-19 data closely for more than 2 years in Pierce County. We know how important this information is for all of us as we make decisions about our daily lives.

That’s why we ensure our data is accurate and that all data systems work effectively.

We also know COVID-19 will be with us for some time. We are learning to live with the virus, and we must continue to follow all the best public health practices for each situation.

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed.
  • If you test positive, see if our Test to Treat program is right for you.
  • If you choose to wear a mask, wear the most protective mask you can get.
  • Get vaccinated and boosted!

Booster doses help limit the spread of COVID-19 and significantly improve your protection from a severe infection.

If you are immune compromised, you should check with your healthcare provider about precautions you should take.

We will continue to monitor all the data available to us and keep you informed. We report case rates Tuesdays, outbreaks Wednesdays and vaccination rates Thursdays.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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